Efficacy and safety of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in schoolchildren: a systematic review
Inocêncio da Luz, Raquel A.
Van geertruyden, Jean-Pierre
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Malaria journal. - London
, 12 p.
University of Antwerp
Background: Intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) is a proven malaria control strategy in infants and pregnancy. School-aged children represent 26 % of the African population, and an increasing percentage of them are scholarized. Malaria is causing 50 % of deaths in this age group and malaria control efforts may shift the malaria burden to older age groups. Schools have been suggested as a platform for health interventions delivery (deworming, iron-folic acid, nutrients supplementation, (boost-) immunization) and as a possible delivery system for IPT in schoolchildren (IPTsc). However, the current evidence on the efficacy and safety of IPTsc is limited and the optimal therapeutic regimen remains controversial. Methods: A systematic search for studies reporting efficacy and safety of IPT in schoolchildren was conducted using PubMed, Web of Science, Clinicaltrials and WHO/ICTRP database, and abstracts from congresses with the following key words: intermittent, preventive treatment AND malaria OR Plasmodium falciparum AND schoolchildren NOT infant NOT pregnancy. Results: Five studies were identified. Most IPTsc regimes demonstrated substantial protection against malaria parasitaemia, with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) given monthly having the highest protective effect (PE) (94 %; 95 % CI 93-96). Contrarily, SP did not provide any PE against parasitaemia. However, no IPT regimen provided a PE above 50 % in regard to anaemia, and highest protection was provided by SP+ amodiaquine (AQ) given four-monthly (50 %; 95 % CI 41-53). The best protection against clinical malaria was observed in children monthly treated with DP (97 %; 95 % CI 87-98). However, there was no protection when the drug was given three-monthly. No severe adverse events were associated with the drugs used for IPTsc. Conclusion: IPTsc may reduce the malaria-related burden in schoolchildren. However, more studies assessing efficacy of IPT in particular against malaria-related anaemia and clinical malaria in schoolchildren must be conducted.